L5R : Jade Winds

The Destruction of the Usagi Clan (Part 4)

In which our PCs find their man

The goblin kitchen. This is filled with the stench (see above) of goblin haute cuisine. Goblins are fighting here throwing wo ks, cutting boards, cleavers, running around under tables, and bursting from pantrys. In front of one pantry is the half-eaten corpse of a Kaiu clan samurai-ko.

What was once the library has been turned into a goblin nursery, full of vile little scroll-eating goblin brats. There are even goblin stables, containing three filthy goblin mounts. A smithy. There are broken weapons here, along with various piles of armors in scattered disarray. Goblins are fighting Nezumi all over, attempting to tip racks of spears over on them, and using rusted hammers as weapons.

(as a passing observation, BTW, Nezumi are not what you would call strong, but they are lightning fast. Not a lot of school style there, sword-wise, more like the jump on you and bite/claw/stab-the-living-shit-out-of-you-until-you-die school only in less time than it takes to read this. Food for thought.)

Goblins hate Nezumi, and Nezumi just return that love. Some of these Nezumi can use a sword pretty effectively. So you are witnessing Nezumi Smoking Mirror Tribe Berserkers (three) who are the full contact fighters and Nezumi Smoking Mirror bushi (two) slicing everything into bits, in action. In the round or so it takes you to get into the room, each Nezumi will kill one goblin, and one Nezumi will be killed. The Nezumi came up that ramp you passed (dead goblin trail).

A quick glance outside through the very well fortified windows in this room reveals Strong Ogre remodeling the breach into something wider, ever more goblins frothing around the courtyard waving spears, odd weapons, cooking pots, a disfigured Hiruma banner and a small blot of determined and somewhat organized leader/shaman type goblins getting their act together over by that storied gatehouse. There may be a bushi revenant or two over there, they are too big to be goblins and too well armored to be Ogres. Yay, Shadowlands revenants. An average Friday night for the Hida Clan.

The surprise has worn off for the goblin garrison, and they are actually getting their act together. A gong is clanging in the background and around you are high pitched shrieks of vengeance and promises of death. Bright blades are singing.

Ah, the stairs are right over that way…

Through the mirror to Chikushudo! Somehow (was it the Sword?) the PCs are drawn to a rabbit hole (was it the Nezumi?) and there they speak with both an Usagikami and a Kitsunekami(Kitsune Mara makes an appearance to repay a debt here), being asked to choose one way or the other through Chikushudo. After some discussion, they choose the Rabbit road and some Fox riddles and are soon leaving another exit near the Shinomen Forest, Usagi Prefecture.
There they are treated to the opening duels of Castle Usagi being invested by the Scorpion. A three way duel of Champions happens between Usagi and Scorpion fighters which the Usagi manage to… draw.

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ednoria

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